Elder Beau Gardner -
Hawaii Honolulu Mission, August 2011 - 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

What it Do?

Fey Hamily,

I’m kind of glad its the end of the month because you’re right mom, January is one of those months where all you can think about is moving on to bigger and better things and those bigger and better things can only happen in February to December haha.  Na, but this week was pretty tight.  A lot of good things happened this week.  Sounds like everything is going good back at home.  Glad to hear that Jojo is doing much better and that your conference in Florida was successful dad.  Always good to hear things are good back at home.  
With members from the singles ward on a hike
More from the singles ward
At Outback Steakhouse celebrating our High Water Mark for December... 
So continuing on about this week, Tuesday was super bomb!  After I emailed, we had a lesson with Ashley which went alright.  Were thinking about dropping her because she's just not progressing and its getting harder to teach her and stuff.  Well after that lesson we had a lesson with Daniel the black dude.  Man that guy is super legit as ever!  We go over there and he is with his friend Eli who introduced him to the church, and he was super stoked to see us.  We started getting to know him a little more and he was a traditional Baptist so he said that was like the hardcore kind.  His family is super musically talented and he's been playing the drums since he was 4.  The way he came to know about the church is through Eli.  He had seen the church before from those old LDS commercials back in the 90's and he always thought it seemed nice.  Well he moved to Hawaii for work or something and he was just going through a hard time until Eli invited him to church, and that’s when it all started.  So we taught him the restoration and it just clicked with him!  We taught him about the Atonement and he loved it he was just soaking it all in.  So we invited him to be baptized on Feb. 16 and he said yes!  He said he would think about it and he would pray to know so he can know its true.  He said he would keep that date engrained in his mind.  He's so solid!  Golden investigator for sure!  So we didn’t have a baptism this past week, it got pushed to this Saturday but instead of baptizing the guy were going to baptize him and his wife so it should be good.  Both of them came to church yesterday, which was really good.  Wednesday was Zone Leader Conference and we went to the temple with all the zone leaders and President and sister Dalton.  That was super cool!  Thursday we had to take our car in so we went with some other elders to do some service at a farm.  The guy that we did service for made us vegan soup... I will never be a vegan haha, that was the weirdest soup I've ever had in my life.  Sunday was super good!  Especially in the singles branch; we set up 2 lessons with some potential investigators so I hope everything will go good with that.  Oh yeah, on Sunday evening we went to a fireside and the guy who made and directed 17 miracles did it.  He kind of just explained some of the miracles and how they made the film and stuff.  Super bomb!  Well that’s about it for me this week.  Solid week I must say.  Well love you all so much!  Have a great week!

Elder Gardner
So Sherif, the guy that got baptized in these pics was a guy that Elder Bowlby and I tracted into in Laie and started Teaching.  Before I left, I committed him to baptism and he said yes!  Well 6 months later it happened! The Church is True!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Dang another week has come and gone.  Its really weird when your in the middle of it the days seem like they take a really long time but at the end of the week your like "Dang, its already Saturday!"  Sorry I didn’t email yesterday I got super busy again, plus it was MLK day so the library and the office weren’t open.  I went on two hikes yesterday, both of them were super cool!  I’ll try and send some pictures but this computer is super slow so there might not be that many.  One of the hikes was called koko head, but it should really be called Stairmaster Extreme 6000 Death!  It was an old sulfur mine cart track that leads up to the top of this mountain so we were climbing up railroad ties the whole time.  I almost threw up... I was bent over halfway up just trying to soak up the fresh air haha I’m sure you could picture that dad.  One of the other missionaries and me compared that hike to life and the gospel it was actually a pretty sick comparison, maybe I’ll use it in my homecoming talk?  Sounds like everyone is doing great.  That’s good that Sam is starting to switch over to Tylenol.  Before we know it he’s going to be teeing up on the first hole with no neck brace.  Good to hear that Jojo is getting better as well that would be sad to not be able to come back to her...  Sounds like surgeries are going good.  Going to travel to Florida huh, to get that certification?  That’s pretty sweet! 
Nothing special about this pic, just an interesting graffiti hole in the ground.
Well I have to say that this week was a lot better!  It all pretty much started on Friday with District Leader Training Meeting.  I know that it was definitely inspired for the training that we gave.  First, we accounted and stuff and went over all the names with dates that we have, and the mood was kind of down, but I had printed off a couple of copies of a short talk by M. Russell Ballard that I had from a training I received in Laie.  I felt like we needed to read this talk with the district leaders.  I think the talk was entitled How to Create Success.  Well, that was exactly what everyone needed!  It gave us that boost we have all been waiting for since we hit our high water mark in December.  After reading that talk we came up with some ideas on how we can get the work moving again, so we set up a zone flood for Saturday.  A zone flood is pretty much everyone in the zone gets together and we pick a neighborhood and then pretty much just flood the place out by tracting.  So that’s what we did on Saturday for and hour and we found some success and I think it got everyone excited as well.  So maybe we'll try and do that every Saturday.  Man, I just know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.  Sunday was also really good.  I’m so grateful that we have the singles branch now, because I love covering singles branches.  Plus it’s like an escape for covering the Tongan Ward haha jk, but seriously.  So maybe I told you about that black guy named Daniel?  Well he came to church again on Sunday and I was able to talk to him, man he is sooo solid!  He was saying how much he loves coming to Church and how good he feels when he is here.  He said that he felt so good the first time that he came so he wanted to come again to see if it would happen again and it did!  He also said that he couldn’t believe how he had never known about this church and the singles branch and that if he does the things that they say in church to do, then his weeks end up sooo much better!  I found out that he is a legit drummer in a band over here and he said he was looking for some Mormon members to be in his band because they are better than other people haha.  We have a lesson with him today so I'll be able to report back to you how it went next week.  Things are starting to look up in the branch and people are starting to come out of the woodwork.  The Tongan ward is still the same, but actually we have a baptism coming up next week and I was pretty impressed because instead of just baptizing the guy like we usually do, Pisope wanted us to teach him all the lessons and have him come to church!  So that’s a good sign.  So yeah, that’s about all that happened this week that was good. 
An scary look at a railroad track.  This is totally a Disneyland ride!  Scary.
So with all the missionaries starting to come in, President Dalton said that by the end of the first quarter the missionary force would jump up to around 75,000 and by December of 2013 it would go up to 95,000!  Pretty crazy huh?  The new 18-year-old missionaries start coming in next transfer, which I believe is Feb. 6th.  I think that all Missions in North America have to have 250 missionaries now.  Some only have 100 now so that would be pretty tough on those mission Presidents.  I’m Glad I’m not one haha.  I’m almost at my 17 Month mark!  Crazy! 

Well I love you all so much and Hope you all have a bomb week!  Laterzz

Elder Gardner

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Therefore, What?

Hello family,

Sorry that I’m emailing so late.  Yesterday we were super busy because we were doing service most of the day at the Sony Open.  I'll explain it later.  
This is the course where they held the Sony Open and we were able to do some service there:
Free visors, shirts and breakfast - Nice!
So yeah, I didn’t really have too much time to email yesterday and then this morning we were super busy because Elder Mafi and I had to go and check all the smoke detectors in all the missionaries apartments plus we had a lesson with one of our investigators Exxon who has a baptism date for the 26th.  So now its 3:00pm and I’m just barely getting to my email, but all is good.  Wow, what a week for you guys though, especially Sam’s surgery.  I’m very glad to hear that everything went very smoothly.  I have been thinking about that a lot this past week and hoping and praying that everything would be all right.  Sounds like it will be ok even though Sam will look like a storm trooper for a little bit.  haha tight!

Well this week has been pretty crazy.  I don’t even know where to start.  I guess I can start with last p-day.  So last p-day we ended up going to the Honolulu Zoo.  That was actually pretty sweet, not going to lie.  It was a smaller zoo but still pretty sweet.  
At the Honolulu Zoo...
Tuesday was cool, we had district meeting and all that good stuff.  We also had a lesson planned with this girl named Ashley.  She was a former investigator in our Singles Branch area book, so one day I gave her a call and we set up an appointment for last Tuesday.  It was kind of a weird lesson.  She had met with missionaries in the past and really liked them.  The missionaries even helped her stop smoking and she said that was the happiest that she has been her whole life when she was meeting with the missionaries.  Then, she moved away to big island for a while and she said that while she was out there she found out more about her own religion (she’s a Christian).  She loves the Mormon Church and she loves the principles that are taught and she knows the Book of Mormon is true but she just won’t join.  In fact, she said that studying the Mormon religion has helped her grow closer to her own religion... I don’t quite understand that?  We are still working with her and trying to help her really find out for herself.  It was funny though, so last Friday she wanted to go to lunch with us and she invited us to this place called Kenny's, and thinking she was going to pay because she invited us, well she didn’t pay so it was kind of awkward… Oh well haha.  The rest of the week we had exchanges and stuff and not really too much happened.  Its been really hard these past couple weeks especially since we hit our high water mark.  It seems like everyone has gone a little downhill, and the drive isn’t completely there, even for me.  Plus, being in the Tongan ward isn’t quite the easiest ward to serve in. It’s just been pretty hard lately, but that’s where my title for this email comes in, those two words, "Therefore, what?"  I know we all have hard times on the mission, and this has honestly been the hardest 3 months of my mission.  We even have hard times in our life like Sam and all his surgeries, or Mom having to work, or dad when you got laid off.  I've asked myself these two words many times, Therefore, what?  What am I going to do about my situation?  Am I going to sit here and let it ruin the rest of my mission or my life or am I going to get up and do something about it no matter what the circumstances are?  Therefore, what am I going to do to change my attitude?  Am I going to complain when things get a little difficult or some things get uncomfortable or inconvenient?  I’ve asked myself this a lot and it actually has helped me many times.  Things will get better eventually, I know they will.  I have so many things to be grateful for.  But yeah, those are just some of the things that have been on my mind this week.  Transfers are coming up in about 3 weeks I have no idea if I will stay or go, it could be either.  If I stay with Elder Mafi one more transfer then I will be his last companion before he goes home.  Then I'll have to stay one more transfer after that to train another zone leader that comes in.  If that happens then I'll only have 4 months left at the end of all that.  Pretty crazy huh?  But I have no idea what will happen.  Oh yeah, so about the Sony Open: we helped the Makiki Ward do some service at the Sony Open which is part of the PGA tour.  We just helped take all the stuff down like chairs and tables and stuff so it was pretty cool, I didn’t mind it because we got breakfast, lunch and a free visor and Shirt.  A lot of the missionaries were complaining the whole time that their p-day was wasted but we got done by 1:30pm so it wasn’t bad at all!  That bugged me a lot.  Well that’s pretty much it for me.

Hope everything will continue to go well back home.  I’m sure they will.  Man, I hope Jojo gets better!  That sucks that she is feeling that way; I hope nothing is wrong with her.  Dad, I still can’t believe you got a truck, dude that’s nuts.  Hey did you ever get a chance to call BYU I about jumping in 2nd block of fall semester?  Just wondering.  Well love you all the most.  Keep it real. 

Elder Gardner

Monday, January 7, 2013

Honlulu Zone and Mission - History Has Been Made!

Wow, can you believe it’s 2013? What the heck!  I can now officially say that I go home this year haha.  Thanks for the emails and the pictures I loved the pictures.  First of all ­- a new truck?  Wow, all I can say is wow!  That’s pretty awesome and caught me by surprise for sure!  That’s cool though.  I bet your stoked dad to have a new Tundra in the driveway.  Lookin’ good!  How much did it cost?  The bug is pretty cool too, so like what exactly is wrong with it?  Does it not run?  Jojo is huge!  How much does she weigh now?  80?  haha man, Sam’s group is so old now, I could barley recognize some of them, just in the year and a half or so I’ve been gone they have grown a lot!  Nuts!  That would be the coolest to take over the Matrix when I get back!  Hopefully, Sam doesn’t wreck it!  Sounds like everyone and everything is going good back at home though.  Getting ready for Sam’s surgery on Wednesday and stuff.  I also feel pretty good about this surgery and that things will go smoothly and well.  I don’t think I'll be able to recognize our home when I come back because there will be so many new changes and new things. 

So this week was pretty sick.  So New Year’s was really good.  Monday was our p-day but we were so busy trying to get ready for the baptisms on Monday so we could get our high water mark.  So before Monday we were standing at 25 baptisms for the month, we needed 6 more to reach our high water mark.  By the time Sunday rolled around we had 3 more with a date and a potential 3 more.  Well, Monday rolled around and we had 6 people with a date for that same day.  I was confident that we were going to hit it - no doubt in my mind.  Well, long story short, we ended up with 8 baptisms on Monday!  Elder Mafi and I had 2 baptisms and McCully had 6 so we crushed our high water mark ending the month of December with 33 baptisms!!!  Heck yeah!  That’s the most baptisms ever in any zone in this mission in one month’s time, and our zone did it!  That was an amazing moment in my life to reach that.  Plus, our mission hit the high water mark also with 1109 baptisms for the year 2012.  That’s the most baptisms to our knowledge in this mission’s history since 1850!  How crazy is that?  What a year!  So that was probably the highlight of the week.  
This is our 2 baptisms: l to r - Me, Elder Mafi, Altria, Kekite, Bishop Vaka's wife, Bishop Vaka
The rest of the week was pretty slow.  Not to much happened and to be honest I think everyone in this zone cut back a little this week because we worked so hard this past month that we were just exhausted and we wrung out our areas haha, but we’re going to get back to work this week because we cant slack in January.  Thursday and Friday we gave blessings to these newborn babies that got sick and were in ICU.  It was a cool experience because there can only be two people in the room so it was just me and my companion and we had to dress up in all these robe things and wear masks and gloves so it was pretty intense.  I love little newborn babies and it was such a neat experience to be able to bless them to get better.  It just made me realize how important life is and how thankful I am for my life and for my health.  Saturday we pretty much spent all day doing service for this guy that wasn’t even in our ward.  We had to help him move out of his apartment in Waikiki and move him all the way on the other side of the island to Ewa Beach, in this military community in the middle of nowhere!  It was really weird, but it’s always good to help someone out and the feeling you get afterwards is one that you won’t ever regret.  Sunday was kind of crazy.  Since we now cover the Singles Branch we have to try and make it to both of our wards.  Well, the first Sunday will always be crazy because both the branch and the ward have ward council.  Here’s my opinion of ward council:  I never have liked ward council; I don’t think I ever will.  I understand why they have it and why it’s important, but it’s never done right so I never like being in there.  That’s my opinion.  But anyways, Elder Mafi had to go to the Tongan ward with another missionary and I went to the Singles Branch with another missionary.  It was actually a good meeting.  There was this non- member black dude that came named David and we got to talking with him.  He’s from North Carolina and he's Baptist.  Well, he said that he found out about our church through a Mormon ad on the Internet - I think!  I was like dang!  That actually works!  Who would have thought?!  Haha,  but he mentioned to us how he loves the feeling he gets when he comes here and the people are always so nice and happy.  He told us this is going to be his next church!  So we’re going to try and set up some lessons to teach him and then baptize him!  Finally, a solid investigator that we might have, YES!  Brandi was there again today but it really wasn’t that weird being around her.  She came up and said hi and we talked for a little then she went and sat down by her friends like it was nothing, so it’s actually not that weird.  I think she might have a boyfriend in there haha.  That was crazy running into the Frehners, I recognize the dad but not really the others but yeah its weird how many people I run into here that I know, I never thought I would run into anyone during my mission.  Yeah that’s pretty much my week for you.
Kent Frehner and myself - It's always fun to run into people I know.
 Well looks like you got a big week ahead of you.  I pray that everything will go well and that everyone will be ok.  Mom, you don’t really need to get me any shirts, I think that I can last without them, but if you want you can go to Deseret Book and get me some books or something like the books that apostles write like the one that Grandma Dede gave me.  I really like reading those books.  Sam, good luck with the surgery I know you'll do great!  Ben, hang in there and stay strong bro, and keep doing good with school.  Dad have fun with your new truck, I know you will, you lucky dog!  Hal and Emmi - do work son, love you guys.  Love you all the most.

Elder Gardner